Office of the Chief Information Officer

United States Department of Agriculture

Departmental Regulation 1071-001

Author: 
Office of the Secretary

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AND EXECUTIVE ORDER 12898

WHEREAS, on February 11, 1994, the President signed Executive Order 12898, “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (“Executive Order 12898” or “Order”), and issued an accompanying Presidential Memorandum (references to this Order herein also generally include this Memorandum), and

WHEREAS, Executive Order 12898 applies to the following agencies: the Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of the Interior, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The Order applies to the following offices in the Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Office of the Deputy Assistant to the President for Environmental Policy, Office of the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, National Economic Council, and Council of Economic Advisers. The Order also applies to other agencies and offices as the President may designate, Executive Order 12898, sec. 1-102, 6-604 (Feb. 11, 1994). The agencies and offices that are listed in section 1-102 or designated by the President under section 6-604 of the Order are referred to herein as “covered agencies” and “covered offices,” respectively, and

WHEREAS, Executive Order 12898 requires each covered agency to “make achieving environmental justice part of its mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations,” id., sec. 1-101, and

WHEREAS, each responsibility of a covered agency under Executive Order 12898 “shall apply equally to Native American programs,” id., sec. 6-606, and

WHEREAS, Executive Order 12898 establishes an Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (“Interagency Working Group”) consisting of the heads of the agencies and offices listed above and any other officials designated by the President, or their designees, id., sec. 1-102(a), and

WHEREAS, Executive Order 12898 directs the Interagency Working Group to assist the covered agencies by providing guidance and serving as a clearinghouse, id., sec. 1-102(b), and

WHEREAS, Executive Order 12898, as amended, required that the then-covered agencies submit to the Interagency Working Group by March 24, 1995 an agencywide environmental justice strategy to carry out the Order, id., sec. 1-103(e), as amended by Executive Order 12948 (Jan. 30, 1995), and

WHEREAS, Executive Order 12898 further required, within two years of issuance, that the then-covered agencies provide to the Interagency Working Group a progress report on implementation of the agency’s environmental justice strategy, Executive Order 12898, sec. 1-103(f), and

WHEREAS, Executive Order 12898 requires that covered agencies conduct internal reviews and take such other steps as may be necessary to monitor compliance with the Executive Order, id., sec. 6-601, and provide additional periodic reports to the Interagency Working Group as requested by the Group, id., sec. 1-103(g), and

WHEREAS, Executive Order 12898 provides that a member of the public may submit comments and recommendations to a covered agency relating to the incorporation of environmental justice principles into the agency’s programs or policies and provides that the agency must convey such recommendations to the Interagency Working Group, id., sec. 5-5(a), and

WHEREAS, the covered agencies and the Interagency Working Group remain committed to full ongoing compliance with Executive Order 12898, and

WHEREAS, Executive Order 12898 does not preclude other agencies from agreeing to carry out the Order and to participate in the activities of the Interagency Working Group as appropriate, and as consistent with their respective statutory authorities and the Order;

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